New drivers strike | 10,000 students in Montreal will have no school transportation

New drivers strike |  10,000 students in Montreal will have no school transportation

About 10,000 students in Montreal and Laval could lose school transportation over the next two weeks due to a strike now called by Autobus Ideal. Again, the question of salary looms above all.

“The boss has money, but he wants to keep it for himself. That's the reality. The money is there, but it doesn't go into the drivers' pockets. We're tired of the ugly salaries,” laments Josie Dubay, president of the School Transportation Department at the Federation of Public Service Employees (FEESP-CSN).

His group, which represents more than 3,000 drivers in about ten regions, has lamented for months that many carriers still refuse to offer better conditions despite receiving government subsidies last year when the centers renewed joint contracts with school services.

So this Tuesday's strike has been formally called at Autobus Ideal, whose drivers – without a work contract since June 30 – have already been in union talks for months. On March 11, they gave the order for pressure tactics that could lead to a strike. Already had ten meetings with the boss, but to no avail.

In all, around 165 drivers and workers will be on strike at least till April 28, which is for a period of two weeks. The new service outage will affect 10,000 students at three school service centers in Montreal, Laval and Pointe-de-l'Es.

So many parents have to find an alternative. “We are very sorry for the parents, and we are very sensitive to the inconvenience this may cause, and this is the only way to ask ourselves, and the employer does not want to know anything,” said Dubey in this case. “Children don't magically come to school. Drivers carry them. And these drivers should be paid better,” he continues.

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Global issue

All this is reminiscent of the strike by 350 school bus drivers at Autobus Transco in Montreal, which ended in March after more than four months.

About 15,000 youth attending schools in the Montreal and Marguerite-Bourgeoys school service centers, English Montreal and Lester B. Pearson School Boards and Colège Sainte-Anne have been without school transportation since October. . The signed six-year employment contract will raise weekly wages from $634 to $907 on 1.R July 2027.

This is not the only ongoing strike in the school transport sector. In Drummondville, Autobus Voltigeur also has approximately 100 employees, with a few carriers in Rivière-du-Loup, Pointe-aux-Outarts and even Estrie. In all cases, it is the question of salary that causes controversy.

With Canadian Press

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